Thursday, September 5, 2019

Grand Ole Opry 9/6 & 9/7

With Crystal Gayle being ill and being forced to cancel her Opry appearances for this weekend, it kind of threw a wrench into the line-ups for this weekend. When all was said and done, it ended with some decent line-ups for this weekend.

The Whites and Connie Smith are the only two Grand Ole Opry members who will be appearing both nights. Joining The Whites and Connie on the Friday Night Opry will be members Bobby Osborne and Bill Anderson. Joining the duo on Saturday night will be Dailey & Vincent, Jesse McReynolds and Ricky Skaggs. Tough to see only four Opry members on Friday and five on Saturday.

A couple of guest artists will be appearing on both nights and Clare Bowen and Williams & Rae are set to appear. The legendary Gene Watson is set for Friday along with veteran artist John Berry. They will be joined by Adam Hambrick, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, and making their Opry debut, Seaforth.

On Saturday night, in addition to Clare and Williams & Rae, Travis Denning is on the scheduled, along with Sylvia and making his Opry debut, CJ Solar.

Friday September 6
7:00: Bill Anderson (host); Adam Hambrick; Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press
7:30: The Whites (host); Clare Bowen; Gene Watson
8:15: Connie Smith (host); Seaforth; Williams & Rae; Darin & Brooke Aldridge; John Berry

Saturday September 7
7:00: Dailey & Vincent (host); Travis Denning; Sylvia
7:30: The Whites (host); Jesse McReynolds; Clare Bowen
8:15: Connie Smith (host); CJ Solar; Opry Square Dancers
8:45: Ricky Skaggs (host); Williams & Rae

A little slim on Saturday night.

As mentioned, Seaforth and CJ Solar will be making their Grand Ole Opry debuts this weekend.

Seaforth — the country-pop duo featuring songwriters Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson — is proof that there's strength in numbers.

Years before their hook-heavy music brought them halfway across the world, Jordan and Thompson grew up in the same Sydney, Australia suburb. They were childhood friends, crossing paths for the first time at three years old and sharing a number of experiences, from soccer games to high-school classes, during the years that followed. Somewhere along the way, they found themselves drawn to similar music, too, listening to modern songwriters like Keith Urban one minute and old-school acts like the Beatles the next.

That Sydney suburb was called Seaforth. It was an inspiring hometown — warm, sunny, and located right on the harbor — and it gave the boys a place to cut their teeth as artists.

Years later, Jordan and Thompson both found themselves in Nashville, having traveled to Tennessee for a songwriting trip together. There, in the same city that helped transform one of their heroes, Keith Urban, from Australia's best-kept secret into a global phenomenon, they decided to officially team up and form a collaborative project that highlighted their genre-jumping songwriting chops, elastic voices, and layered harmonies. Now an official duo, they aspired to permanently relocate to Nashville…but not before nodding to their shared roots by naming the band Seaforth.

CJ Solar has seen many dreams come true since he started writing, recording and touring, but few dreams compare to the call he received from the Grand Ole Opry inviting him to make his debut appearance on the hallowed stage. The MusicRow “Independent Artist of the Year” will perform in the famous circle for the first time.

“It’s been a dream of mine to stand on the circle, since I attended my first Opry performance with my parents on a trip to Nashville when I was 12 . . . it inspired me to move to Nashville and want to make Country music,” said CJ. “Always said this was the biggest bucket list moment for me in Nashville, and I can’t believe it’s happening!!”

CJ was in seventh grade during that family trip to Music City. The visit included many of the traditional Nashville destinations, but the Opry was highest on everyone’s list. Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton performed on the show that night, and CJ distinctly remembers making a quality decision to follow in their footsteps.

Ironically, CJ interned for and was later signed as a staff writer at Sea Gayle Music, a Nashville music publishing company co-owned by Brad Paisley. CJ co-wrote every song on his Get Away With It and Hard One To Turn Down EPs and his upcoming EP, and he celebrated his first #1 Country single as a songwriter with Morgan Wallen’s “Up Down” featuring Florida Georgia Line.

Last week, fans received news of the release of CJ’s new single, “Coming My Way,” to Country radio on August 27, 2019. The single will be the title track to his upcoming third EP.

Congratulations to both Seaforth and CJ Solar as they have made their way to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

And now, here is the posted Grand Ole Opry line-up from ten years ago, the weekend of September 4 & 5, 2009:

Friday September 4
7:00: Mike Snider (host); Jeannie Seely; Luke Bryan
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Bobby Osborne & The Rocky Top X-Press; Andy Griggs
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); Jimmy C Newman; Mark Wills
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Stu Phillips; Jack Greene; The Whites

Saturday September 5
1st show
7:00: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jimmy C Newman; Emily West
7:30: Mike Snider (host); Jack Greene; Blaine Larsen
8:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Johnny Counterfit; Opry Square Dancers
8:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); The Whites; Connie Smith

2nd show
9:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jesse McReynolds & The Virginia Boys; Blaine Larsen
10:00: Mike Snider (host); Stonewall Jackson; Legacy Five
10:30: Ricky Skaggs (host); Charlie Louvin; The Whites; Opry Square Dancers
11:00: Jim Ed Brown (host); Emily West; Connie Smith

From the 1st weekend in September 25 years ago, Saturday September 3, 1994:

1st show
6:30: Bill Monroe (host); Brother Oswald
6:45: Grandpa Jones (host); Bill Carlisle
7:00: Porter Wagoner (host); Jim Ed Brown; Jeanne Pruett; Hank Locklin; Wilma Lee Cooper
7:30: Jimmy Dickens (host); Jeannie Seely; Connie Smith; Speer Family
8:00: Bill Anderson (host); The Four Guys; Jimmy C Newman; Charlie Louvin; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
8:30: Hank Snow (host); Skeeter Davis; Charlie Walker; Mike Snider; Monty Grover

2nd show
9:30: Porter Wagoner (host); Charlie Louvin; Jeannie Pruett; Jimmy C Newman; Colleen Walters
10:00: Bill Monroe (host); Hank Locklin
10:15: Jimmy Dickens (host); Ray Pillow
10:30: Grandpa Jones (host); Roy Drusky
10:45: Jim Ed Brown (host); Skeeter Davis; Opry Square Dance Band; Melvin Sloan Dancers
11:00: Hank Snow (host); Jeannie Seely; Connie Smith; The Four Guys
11:30: Mike Snider (host); Carolee Singers; Charlie Walker

And from 50 years ago, Saturday September 6, 1969:

1st show
6:30: Willis Brothers (host); Del Wood
6:45: Ray Pillow (host); Bill Carlisle
7:00: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Louvin; Johnny Darrell; Linda Martel
7:30: Stonewall Jackson (host); Ernie Ashworth; Margie Bowes; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers; Don Winters
8:00: Billy Grammer (host); Martha Carson; Compton Brothers; Jimmy C Newman
8:30: Ernest Tubb (host); Dottie West; Stu Phillips; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Billy Parker

2nd show
9:30: Ray Pillow (host); Willis Brothers; Dottie West; Del Wood
10:00: Roy Acuff (host); Charlie Louvin; Penny DeHaven
10:15: Stonewall Jackson (host); Johnny Darrell; Compton Brothers
10:30: Billy Grammer (host); Ernie Ashworth; Linda Martel
10:45: Ernest Tubb (host); Margie Bowes; Crook Brothers; Stoney Mountain Cloggers
11:00: Jimmy C Newman (host); Martha Carson; Fruit Jar Drinkers; Walter Propst; Sam and Kirk McGee
11:30: Stu Phillips (host); Melba Montgomery; Don Winters; Joe Edwards

Everytime I see Martha Carson's name on the schedule I smile because when she wanted to come back from her leave of absence, the Opry management said there was no room for her, and she wrote that she never came back. Yet, as the line-ups indicate, she made numerous guest appearances on the Opry. But she was never reinstated as a member.

Looking at past line-ups, and continuing with 1974, the year that the new Grand Ole Opry House opened, let's go back to the line-up from 45 years ago, Saturday September 7, 1974:

1st show
6:30: Mrs. Grissoms
Stonewall Jackson (host): Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Jimmy Dickens: Lonesome Road Blues/I'd Rather Sleep in Peace
Stonewall Jackson: Waterloo

6:45: Rudy's
Billy Grammer (host): Gotta Travel On
Leona Williams: Yes, Ma'am (He Found Me in A Honky Tonk)
Billy Grammer, Jr: Orange Blossom Special
Billy Grammer: How Great Thou Art

7:00: Rudy's
Roy Acuff (host): Cottonfields/Night Train to Memphis
The Four Guys: Maria
Jerry Clower: She Coon of Women's Lib
Roy Acuff: Carry Me Back to the Mountains
The Four Guys: Catfish John
Roy Acuff: Cabin in Gloryland

7:30: Standard Candy
Willis Brothers (host): Truck Stop
Connie Smith: I Never Knew What That Song Meant Before
Ray Pillow: She's Doing it to Me Again
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Mississippi Sawyer
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Connie Smith: How Great Thou Art
Ray Pillow: Countryfried
Willis Brothers: Give Me 40 Acres

8:00: Martha White
George Jones (host) and Tammy Wynette: We Loved it Away
Tammy Wynette: Woman to Woman
Patsy Sledd: Chip; Chip
Harold Morrison: Ole Slewfoot
George Jones: The Grand Tour
Tammy Wynette: Take Me to Your World
The Jones Boys: Old Joe Clark
Tina Jones: Delta Dawn
George Jones and Tammy Wynette: The Jet Set

8:30: Stephens
Stu Phillips (host): If You Love Me; Let Me Know
Karen Wheeler: Listen, Spot
Ernie Ashworth: Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Hickory Leaf
Stu Phillips: There Must Be Another Way to Say Goodbye
Karen Wheeler: What Can I Do
Ernie Ashworth: Heartbreak Avenue

2nd show
9:30: Kellogg's
Stonewall Jackson (host): Don't Be Angry
Willis Brothers: There Goes the Farm
Connie Smith: Dallas
Stonewall Jackson: Me & You & A Dog Named Boo
Willis Brothers: Cool Water
Connie Smith: Down in the Valley
Stonewall Jackson: Why I'm Walking/Waterloo

10:00: Fender
George Jones (host) with Tammy Wynette: We're Gonna Hold On
Tammy Wynette: I Don't Wanna Play House
George Jones: White Lightening
George Jones and Tammy Wynette: Take Me
Faron Young: Wine Me Up/Hello Walls

10:15: Union 76
Billy Grammer (host): Detroit City
Billy Grammer, Jr.: Orange Blossom Special
Billy Grammer: The Old Rugged Cross

10:30: Trailblazer
Roy Acuff (host): Wabash Cannonball
The Four Guys: Let Me Be There
Roy Acuff: The Great Speckled Bird/I Saw the Light

10:45: Beech-Nut
Jerry Clower (host): A New Bull
Ernie Ashworth: Talk Back Trembling Lips
Crook Brothers and The Stoney Mountain Cloggers: Lost Indian
Jerry Clower: The New Fed

11:00: Coca-Cola
Ray Pillow (host): Countryfried
Jimmy Dickens: John Henry
Leona Williams: Pass Me By
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Sally Goodin
Jimmy Dickens: We Could
Sam McGee: San Antonio Rose
Ray Pillow: Excuse Me/Slippin' Around

11:30: Elm Hill
Stu Phillips (host): Catfish John
Karen Wheeler: What Can I Do
Ronnie Robbins: If You Love Me, Let Me Know/Baby, Let the Music Play
Karen Wheeler: Listen, Spot
Stu Phillips: Why Me Lord

A couple of items from that night: Porter Wagoner and Marion Worth both cancelled, while Faron Young was surprised, unannounced appearance on the 2nd show. Jimmy Dickens, who was on both shows that night, was a guest as he did not rejoin the Opry until the following year.

Finally, on the first show, the George Jones portion was basically an abbreviated version of his road show.

To finish it up, and going way back, here is the running order from 72 years ago, Saturday September 6, 1947:

8:00: Purina
Oklahoma Wranglers: Cindy
Hank Penny: To be selected
Bill Monroe: Blue Moon of Kentucky
Marie and Clyde: Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar
Hank Penny: To be selected
Jamup and Honey: Jokes
Bill Monroe: Little Community Church
Lonzo and Oscar: Take Those Cold Feet Out of My Back
Crook Brothers: Sally Goodin
Oklahoma Wranglers: I Still Do

8:30: Warren Paint & Color Co.
Lew Childre: Riding on the Elevated
Paul Howard: Breakin' It Off Too Far
Milton Estes: To be selected
Clyde Moody: I Worship You
Johnny and Jack: Don't Monkey Around My Widow When I Am Gone
Possum Hunters: Pull Off Your Overcoat
Jimmy Selph: That's Why I Worry
Lew Childre: Liza Up Summon Tree

9:00: Royal Crown
Golden West Cowboys: Keep Those Icy Fingers Off of Me
Fruit Jar Drinkers: Old Joe Clark
Roy Acuff: Leaf of Love
Bradley Kincaid: Red Light Ahead
Oswald: Late Last Night My Willie Came Home
Cowboy Copas: If I Bring Home the Bacon
York Brothers: New Mississippi Blues
Roy Acuff: This World Is Not My Home
Golden West Cowboys: Southland Polka
Chaser: Spanish Twostep

9:30: Prince Albert
Red Foley: Rocking Chair Money
Old Timers: Oh Monah
Jimmy Wakely: Somebody's Rose
Rod Brasfield: Jokes
Red Foley: What Are You Gonna Do
Jimmy Wakely: You Can't Break the Chains of Love
Minnie Pearl: Jokes
Grandpa Jones: Kitty Clyde
Fowler Quartet: I'm on My Way to Cannon's Land
Red Foley: Chained to a Memory
Square Dance: Arkansas Traveler

10:00: Wall Rite
Bill Monroe: Blue Brass Special
Quartet: Shining Path
Marie and Clyde: One Little Too Late
Lester: Honey Suckle Rose
Bill and Lester: Mother's Only Sleeping

10:15: Weather House
Roy Acuff: The Longest Train
Jimmy Riddle: Dark Town Strutters Ball
Jug Band: Detour
Roy Acuff: I Dreamed I Searched Heaven for You
Poem: Roy

10:30: O'Bryan Brothers
Milton Estes: Sky Ball Paint
Clyde Moody: If I Had Me Life to Live Over
Bradley Kincaid: Lightening Express
Johnny and Jack: This World Can't Stand Long
Milton Estes: Foggy Mountain Top

10:45: Oven Magic
Oklahoma Wranglers: Cowboy Has to Sing
Wally Fowler: Let's Ride That Plane
Lew and String Beans: Working on a Building
Crook Brothers: Grieving My Heart Out for You
Oklahoma Wranglers: Grab Your Saddle Horn and Blow

11:00: Eddy Arnold Song Book
Bradley Kincaid: The First Whippoorwill
Lily Belle: Tears on My Pillow
Lonzo and Oscar: Old McDonald Had a Farm
Bradley Kincaid: Tow Little Shoes

11:15: Ernest Tubb Song Book
Clyde Moody: Shenandoah Waltz
Oklahoma Wranglers: Down Home Rag
Grandpa Jones: Get Things Ready for Me
Clyde Moody: If You Need Me I Will Be Around
Oklahoma Wranglers: Take Me Back to Tulsa

11:30: Mountain View Nursery
Golden West Cowboys: Three Strikes and You Are Out
Old Hickory Singers: When It Is Prayer Meeting Time in the Hollow
Gully Jumpers: Chinese Breakdown
York Brothers: If I Knew I'd Never Love You
Golden West Cowboys: Keep Those Icy Fingers Of of My Back

11:45: Artist Service
Paul Howard: Lazy Morning
Robert Lunn: New River Train
Sam and Kirk: Trouble in Mind Today
Fruit Jar Drinkers: I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover
Paul Howard: San Antone Rose

Looking at that show, there are some great song titles listed there, many of which you don't of anymore.

There you have it for this week. As always, thanks for reading and I hope everyone enjoys the Grand Ole Opry this weekend.


  1. Oh, to have been there that night in 1947!

    1. Yes, and included is Bradley Kincaid, the single most historic glaring omission in the rotunda of the Country Music Hall of Fame

    2. My mother introduced me to country music (she introduced my dad to it as well, so I give her the lead position on that), and she was a bit, shall we say, ferocious on the subject. Her biggest gripe about the Hall of Fame partially involved Bradley Kincaid--she said that since he boosted Grandpa Jones, how do you put Grandpa Jones in ahead of him? She felt the same way when Marty went in ahead of The Potato, who helped bring him to Nashville (though she was glad, under the circumstances, Marty got it when he did), and when Willie went in ahead of Ray Price and Faron Young.

      Now, all of that said, the Hall of Fame is what a friend of mine called a barstool debate: you can sit and fight over it for hours.

  2. Is the Grand Ole Opry listed in the Guinness World Record for anything?

    If not, I think we should start a movement, after all, that seems to be the hip thing to do today. Byron is great at research. Maybe he can find out what kind of record the Opry could hold for having a first time debut artist on a every show of a program where the real honor is or used to me membership. Instead, I read above where it is check box on a bucket list.

    Boy I'm becoming a sour old man before my time.

    On a more positive note, instead of listening to live recordings while working today, I was listening to studio recordings by many of our favorite artist. As I listened to Hank Snow, Tammy Wynette, Cal Smith, Jim Reeves, Bill Anderson and so, so many more, I couldn't help but be amazed at the wonderful instrumentation, singing and arrangements on all of their records especially from the 50's through the 70's. So much more class and craft than what sounds like noise and crude singing to my ears today. I understand what I hear as good, others do not appreciate. And those who hear what I hear as noise today probably have similar feelings to what I like. But, I might ask how they would know because I wonder if they have ever heard much of it. After all, it was before their time so why should they be interested or care.

    That goes well beyond music. I had a member of the railroad museum where I am a director tell me he was not interested in steam locomotives because that was before his time. And he is older than I am!

    To each their own, we are still free to have our individual likes and interests!

    Knightsville, IN

    1. Jim, I think of when artists aren't performing because they're working on an album. Chet Atkins hailed Hank Snow for the fact that when he and the Rainbow Ranch Boys showed up, everything was ready to go and they were done in five hours. And it was as good as or better than whatever they are taking a year to complete today. So I join you in the "get off my lawn" group!

  3. For what it is worth, so far this year 44 acts have made their debuts on the Grand Ole Opry. Needless to say, a few of them we will never hear from again.

    1. I wonder if they actually audition the first-time acts or does the 'Opry just invite them to perform based on a whim?
      Some are quite good, but a great number, it seems to me, unfortunately, have absolutely no musical ability whatsoever.

    2. I kind of thing they go down on Broadway and say "wanta' be on the Opry this week?" That's a little strong but sometimes I wonder.

      Knightsville, IN

  4. Just watched a recent show on PBS about MUSIC ROW - it was very interesting; a few pix showed what it looked like so many years ago and when the Country Music Hall of Fame was there. Two other good ones were on CHARLEY PRIDE and THE HIGHWAYMEN. The KEN BURNS At the Ryman is scheduled for Sun, Sep 8 and his Country Music debuts on Sun, Sep 15. Looking forward to watching them. (from Anonymous in PA)

  5. I keep the worst of my thoughts to myself and try not to name names but this CJ Solar thing I just heard is to much. They might as well go spit on the grave of Roy Acuff, ET, and all those greats that built the Opry so they can come on and do this.

    Hope no one is offended by this comment but it's kind of like burning the flag I proudly fly in my yard.

    Byron, maybe you need to ban me! It just hurts me to see what they are allowing on that stage anymore.

    I can't help it folks.


    1. Jim,
      You should have heard him on Coffee, Country & Cody. He's one of the Southern Rock guys who admitted he came to Nashville on a lark to try out country music.
      I will let his speaking speak for itself. :)

    2. Jim, I will never ban you !!!!!

      I listened also and let's just say that I enjoyed the Opry Encore on RFD last night. Grandpa Jones two weeks in a row!!

    3. Thanks guys. I love this stuff so much and it is so much a part of me that it is like you are tearing my family apart or spraying graffiti on my house and property that has been on the family for decades.

      Is there any other form of music that has allowed and accepted the rejects from a another form of music to infiltrate it and degrade it. I know that really great musicians like Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Chet Atkins, Roy Clark and other, encouraged the exposure of artist outside Country but especially before Vince and Marty's generation, they did not try to take it over. Nothing against Vince and Marty, just perspective.

      Maybe it has always been this way but the change has been slow. Take the adding of drums and electric instruments to the Opry. Maybe folks like me saw that as extreme in that day and today I say it is not an extreme change. I think what set me off last night was the obviously over the top loud guitars which almost said to me "bad for lette" you Opry people. Let alone that pretty voice. Maybe the social media age where anyone that can create a Facebook or You Tube page can put their "stuff" out there for the public to hear and the bar for what is tasteful and pleasing to the ear and the heart has been lowered so that anyone can leap over it.

      Like so many other things today, I think the majority of the public is being pushed in a direction by a minority. The majority is not extreme and go about their business and do not push their feelings or ideals on others and the minority "others" get all the attention.

      Knightsville, IN

  6. I'm a longtime and regular reader here, but first time commenter. I hate to have my first comment here be a negative one, but here goes:

    I was talking with my dad the other day about the decline of music, and country in particular. I used the example that you used to have thoughtful poetry like, "Sea of heartbreak/lost love, loneliness/memories of your caress/so divine/how I wish you were mine" and now we have "the bobber's going up down/up down/up down."

    Once I saw that CJ Solar co-wrote the latter my expectations were pretty low.

    J in OK

    1. Welcome J in OK. So glad that you have been reading and now commenting. I am always glad to read what others are thinking.

      As to your comment, I know what you and your dad mean.

    2. Thanks, Byron. I appreciate all you do here and your wealth of knowledge. You've built something special.

      Thanks also to the commenters here. This may be the only comment section on the web worth reading. Not only are you knowledgeable and passionate, but you also manage to state your opinions with tact and decency. There's a solid community here. I enjoy your stories, and several times I've read something and thought, "I'm glad someone else thinks this way!"

      J in OK

  7. Darin and Brooke Aldridge, based on their great performance last Friday, sure deserve more appearances and consideration for Opry membership ---- Dashmann - Flushing, Michigan